Yesterday at the World Series of Poker – or more accurately, very early Friday morning – 1,084 players came together as one, celebrating in earnest as the Main Event money bubble was burst.
Day 3 was the first time the entire Main Event field had assembled at the same time, with 2,572 hopefuls looking to build big stacks for the long haul – or simply survive on their short stack until they made the money. And courtesy of a pregame announcement by tournament officials, who let everyone know ahead of the action that play wouldn’t conclude until the magic number of 1,084 players was hit, the finish line was clearly marked for all to see.
What followed was a marathon night of Main Event action that spanned nearly 14 hours, and by 1 a.m. Las Vegas local time every short-stacked player making an all-in announcement had all eyes on them.
Per the live updates provided by PokerNews, with just two eliminations to go until the remaining field locked up a $15,000 payday, Roger Campbell led out for 15,000 after taking a 9h-7h-2h flop.
After being raised, Campbell shoved his last 225,000 into the middle and received a quick call from Kenny Shih, who tabled Qh-10h for a flopped flush. Campbell still had outs with his Ah-Kc – surely not as many as he had hoped, however – but the turn (10c) and river (2d) failed to deliver the nut flush.
With the tournament in hand-for-hand play at the time, the field waited to see how a second all-in confrontation turned out. After playing a relatively small pot to the river, with the board reading 10d-Jc-10h-7h-Kh, Belgian pro Davidi Kitai tapped the table for a check. Chinese high-stakes cash game regular Quan Zhou jammed for 376,000.
Kitai snapped it off and tabled Ks-Kd for a rivered full house, while Zhou could only muster Ad-9d for the pure bluff.
As the all-ins technically occurred on the same hand, tournament officials then directed Campbell and Zhou to an outer table, where the pair would run out a blind hand to determine their final placement order. At stake was a $10,000 rebate of sorts, offered by sponsor Sportsbook, with the official 1,085th-place “bubble boy” earning a free entry to next year’s Main Event.
Zhou’s random hand wound up as the Sportsbook, making Campbell the last player to leave the Main Event empty-handed.
The remaining 1,084 players return to the Rio for Day 4, which starts at 11 a.m. Las Vegas local time.
The chip leader is Patrick Lavecchia (1,552,000), who is trailed closely by Pawel Brzeski (1,546,000) and Antoine Saout (1,529,000), while Jeremiah Fitzpatrick (1,523,000), Derek Bowers (1,376,000), Mickey Craft (1,345,000), Edward Nassif (1,345,000), Scott Blumstein (1,340,000), Artan Dedusha (1,288,000) and Greg Dyer (1,276,000) round out the top 10.
The aforementioned Kitai, a three-time bracelet Sportsbook, has 1,116,000 to work with, while Sofia Lovgren (996,000), three-time bracelet Sportsbook Dominik Nitsche (829,000), five-time bracelet holder Allen Cunningham (427,000), and 1998 Main Event champion Scotty Nguyen (232,000) headline the stars still in the show.